I didn’t realize, until I started to write this blog, just how many posts I have written on “What Travel Has Taught Me,” Amy’s LAPC of the week. Today, I am going for the practical things I have learned along the way!
Tip #1: I have become very good at keeping LISTS! I use the ANYLIST App to keep all my lists! This App will keep any kind of list that you want to make! It is especially good for Grocery Shopping (which I use everyday) and all the Features that entails, but today, we are talking about Traveling! My best Packing List for that, is one that I have developed over the years, and adjusted to my travel needs as they changed. One Packing List is now designated for “Cruising” and my Packed Sacks List has every Make Up Bag, Zipcubes (all numbered with contents in detail), Carry On, Big Suitcase, and Handbag ready, so all I have to do is pull up my Anylist and pack! I know everything I need is in there, so I don’t have to worry that I might forget something! If you start working on your LISTS months before you go and then save your LISTS, this makes packing a dream!
Let’s talk Suitcases now! We have owned many, many, many suitcases over the years. We have traveled a lot over 27 years! It pays to invest in an up-to-date suitcase! Suitcases are so much lighter now and the wheels are much better…….
Tip #2: It is good, to have a suitcase that is light, light, and lighter, and one that separates yours from the rest. At the airport baggage claim you will be glad to have a suitcase that is easy identifiable! We have used the Away Suitcases the last few years. We have found them to be extremely light and very durable with the best 360 degree spinner wheels. They don’t rip or tear or scuff up ! Also, they come with a very secure lock that can be opened by the TSA if need be, without damaging your suitcase. Our smaller carry-on, also contains a removable charger to charge our phones /tablets…… Away is the best line of suitcases, we have used so far. You can see they also came in two-tone colors, when we purchased them, so they are extremely easy to recognize!
Tip #3: After packing your suitcases try them out! TRY THEM OUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME! Can you carry everything you need to, up and down stairs? Try some rough ground. Can you pull your suitcases along? Or, do they twist and turn on you? Does you suitcase fall over when you are not holding it? You will want to know all of these things before you leave home, so you can adjust. This will mean more than likely, taking things out of your suitcase!
Tip #4: You will not need half the stuff you think you will! Limit your wardrobe to three main colors and add accessories for color! My mains are white, black, grey and brown. Almost everything will go with these colors and you won’t have to take as many items! They all mix and match and look like completely new outfits! I take only one suitcase, that is checked in at the airport, one carry on bag, and one purse. Both suitcases have 360 degree spinner wheels.
Tip #5: pack with Zipbags……..Zipbags allow you to roll your clothes up for fewer wrinkles and you can get many items in one zipbag! I have a zipbag for shirts, pants, underclothes etc, toiletries, and handbags. I carry an empty one for souvenirs I buy……. You can purchase Zipbags just about anywhere and in many different sizes!
My downfall is shoes! I wear good, sturdy, walking shoes that are comfortable! Wear them before you pack them too! Do not take new shoes that you have not broke in…….
This is one of the Zipbags, that I have labeled for shoes……These shoes are very comfortable, fold up, so you can pack them, and come in a bazillion colors! They are Tieks! I wear them in the evenings, when we go out to dinner…….I wear walking shoes for day trips and sightseeing. It is also helpful to change your shoes during the day as not to wear your feet out……hurting feet will ruin your day!
PS I use printed labels to mark my packing sacs! For example: For my carry-on, I have every Zipbag label marked in a color for that carry-on, 1 through whatever. My list on Anylist, shows everything that goes in each labeled Zipbag. When I go to re-pack them at the end of each trip, I repack them the same way. That way, I know if I am missing something! I do this for every suitcase and bag I take!
Tip #6: Now, let’s talk security………I use four different bags for travel, focusing on safety. All of my bags have been Baggallinis.
I am talking about Safety and Security against theft and against getting my credit card information and passport identification stolen. All, of my travel bags are RFID blocked and Anti-Theft. So What is RFID?
RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. It uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags embedded in credit cards, ATM cards, ID cards, passports and more.
Companies embed a small chip in products that allows information about you and your accounts to be transmitted to a reader, wirelessly, decreasing transaction time. The bad guys can have card readers that can scan your cards, without them ever leaving your pocket or wallet, from as far as ten feet away or more. So to prevent this I carry RFID blocked bags to keep my information secure.
Now what is an Anti-Theft bag? They are bags with anti-theft technology including, slash resistant straps, slash resistant body panels, and locking compartments with RFID blocking slots and pockets within the bag.
I am going to show you my bags, and tell you how and why, I use each bag. Here is my go to bag that I use just about every day! Even when I am not traveling!
These are my vacation bags! The first one, that I love and use daily on vacation, is the RFID protected Running Buddy XL. However, I do not run, but I do go places and most of the time I hate taking a big purse. It has the RFID protection and very strong magnets on the backside flap. It allows me to carry my credit cards, identification, money, keys and IPhone all next to my body with the back flap over my slacks, the pockets in front of my slacks, but under my shirt. It is so light you can not even tell you are wearing it and no one else can tell either. Believe me, when I say, it is not going to fall off either! Those magnets are strong! Now, you could just wear it on your waistband, if you were out running or just want it to show. I don’t want it to show! I tuck it under my shirt! It is the smallest bag shown in this photo! These bags pack neatly inside each other to make packing easy too! I carry the biggest one, and pack the rest in a zipbag.
Tip # 7: Get a local map, at the location you are visiting. Maps can be found at tourist’s offices (or around the town) for free, and they are handed out at each new stop on the cruise ships. Even though we have planned excursions on the ship, we still get a map. This way I don’t have to remember or write down all the stops we made or the names of places and it makes it easier to write my blog travels when I get home! Also, I have found when we are walking and have been lost or looking for something, if you have a map in hand, more folks are willing to stop and help you!
Tip #8: Buy a travel umbrella! I can not tell you how many flimsy umbrellas we have bought at our destinations over the years, because we didn’t take one! You will need them more often than not! Our newest umbrella is just about hurricane proof! It will not turn inside out! Let me introduce the Weatherman Travel Umbrella! It is easy to carry or pack and weighs less than a pound! My photo is the Larger Umbrella, which is one of the four sizes it comes in. They all feature reflective accents for safety too!
Tip #9: Learn how to say at least please and thank you in every language of the countries you are going to visit. Politeness goes a long way! I keep a List for those too! Ha Ha!
Tip #10: Slow down. Don’t be in a hurry. In Europe, it will take you longer to eat in restaurants and they eat much later in the day than we normally do. More often than not, restaurants are closed during the middle of the day! You will have to adjust to their habits, so have plenty of time for things and go with the flow. Do not expect other people to do as you do. Do not get bent out of shape because things are different. If you want the experience to be the same as you have at home, then stay Home! That is why one travels…… to experience new things!
I hope you have enjoyed my travel tips today! For more of my travel tips, look under Travel Tips on my Blogs, both old and new!
Won’t you join in the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge? To follow along and see what “Travel” has taught others, look at Amy’s original post HERE! See you next time, Cady